Superheroes Need Help, too!

by Deepika Bhosale

“Art is a place for children to learn to trust their ideas, themselves and to explore what is possible”- Maryann F  Kohl

The above mentioned quote informs my work with children.  Children are naturally creative and it is easy for them to express themselves through art  as opposed to answering questions directly.

Art enables children  to communicate their thoughts and feelings and  deal with life challenges. Through art,  the child feels comfortable to communicate difficult issues as it provides a non threatening space for them and gives them a chance to be them, fully without censure.  Further, it allows them to tackle problems in a fun  creative manner.

I would like to share the story of a child from 6th grade who was referred to me for counselling for aggressive behaviour. He was teased by his peers for his short stature and that would be the trigger for him to engage in physical fights.  The student  seemed to be aware of his behaviour and felt guilty about it. However, the aggression had caused him to drift apart from his friends and he had started to experience isolation and a drop in his self confidence. Hence, the core aim of therapy with him was to build on his self confidence and self expression.

Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques through the initial rapport building sessions readied him for expressing himself. I also got to know that he  loved to  read, write,  draw and paint. This gave me the idea to use art activities in therapy with him.

He loved to sketch Marvel ™ and Ben10 ™ characters. He loved to talk about their superpowers and  their abilities to deal with challenges. However, he identified most with the character of

Pikachu ™. He said: “I am like Pikachu only because he is also short. But he has a lot of power! He is able to do so many things.”

With a few sessions, the student was able to open up and took initiatives by himself to make friends. He also started using relaxation techniques to control his anger.

Drawing and relating to superheroes gave him an outlet for expression which he wasn’t finding otherwise. It helped him reflect over his actions and resolve for positive changes. Most importantly, art helped him acknowledge the fact that he too was a superhero who was learning the tricks to outsmart the attacks of aggression!

 

The above mentioned quote informs my work with children.  Children are naturally creative and it is easy for them to express themselves through art  as opposed to answering questions directly.

Art enables children  to communicate their thoughts and feelings and  deal with life challenges. Through art,  the child feels comfortable to communicate difficult issues as it provides a non threatening space for them and gives them a chance to be them, fully without censure.  Further, it allows them to tackle problems in a fun  creative manner.

I would like to share the story of a child from 6th grade who was referred to me for counselling for aggressive behaviour. He was teased by his peers for his short stature and that would be the trigger for him to engage in physical fights.  The student  seemed to be aware of his behaviour and felt guilty about it. However, the aggression had caused him to drift apart from his friends and he had started to experience isolation and a drop in his self confidence. Hence, the core aim of therapy with him was to build on his self confidence and self expression.

Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques through the initial rapport building sessions readied him for expressing himself. I also got to know that he  loved to  read, write,  draw and paint. This gave me the idea to use art activities in therapy with him.

He loved to sketch Marvel ™ and Ben10 ™ characters. He loved to talk about their superpowers and  their abilities to deal with challenges. However, he identified most with the character of

Pikachu ™. He said: “I am like Pikachu only because he is also short. But he has a lot of power! He is able to do so many things.”

With a few sessions, the student was able to open up and took initiatives by himself to make friends. He also started using relaxation techniques to control his anger.

Drawing and relating to superheroes gave him an outlet for expression which he wasn’t finding otherwise. It helped him reflect over his actions and resolve for positive changes. Most importantly, art helped him acknowledge the fact that he too was a superhero who was learning the tricks to outsmart the attacks of aggression!

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